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Wonder Boys Open GAC Tourney Friday

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There was a time in early April when it looked like the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys might not need reservations for the inaugural Great American Conference Baseball Tournament.

But an eight-game league winning streak during the month of April changed their fortunes, and now the Wonder Boys are ready for their third consecutive appearance in postseason baseball action.

Fourth-seeded Arkansas Tech (25-25) will face third-seeded Southwestern Oklahoma State (27-17) in an opening-round game at David Allen Memorial Ballpark in Enid, Okla., on Friday, May 4.

First pitch is set for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast in the Arkansas River Valley on KWKK 100.9 FM.

Click here to access an Internet stream of the broadcast.

The Wonder Boys walked off their home field in eighth place in the GAC standings following a 3-2 loss to Arkansas-Monticello on April 6.

Tech was trailing the Boll Weevils again the next day until a three-run home run by Scott Sammons in the bottom of the sixth inning put them in front for good in a 7-4 victory.

It was the beginning of eight consecutive GAC wins for Arkansas Tech, which went on to sweep Harding and East Central the next two weekends while clinching a berth in the postseason.

This is the first time since 1997-99 that the Wonder Boys have reached the baseball postseason in three consecutive years.

Now they will try to do something they haven't done since the 1985 NAIA District 17 Tournament --- bring a postseason baseball trophy home to Arkansas Tech.

Southwestern Oklahoma State enters the postseason with its pitching in top form. The Bulldogs allowed just one run in 25 innings during a three-game sweep of Harding last weekend.

Arkansas Tech took 2-of-3 games from Southwestern Oklahoma State during a GAC series at Weatherford, Okla., March 31 and April 1.

The Wonder Boys came from behind for a 5-3 win in game one of the series, and Tech held off a Bulldogs' rally to win the finale 16-13. SWOSU won the middle game 2-1 behind the pitching of Cole Stephens and Adrian Dominguez.

The double-elimination GAC Baseball Tournament will continue through Monday, May 7.

Other first-round games on Friday will pit top-seeded Southern Arkansas (32-14) against sixth-seeded Henderson State (23-25) at noon and No. 2 seed Southeastern Oklahoma State (32-15) against No. 5 seed Ouachita Baptist (26-24) at 3:30 p.m.

Click here to view the GAC Baseball Tournament bracket.

Click here to learn more about Arkansas Tech baseball.